Reuters reports that “The distillers of Sweden's Absolut vodka have withdrawn an advertisement run in Mexico that angered many U.S. citizens by idealizing an early 19th century map showing chunks of the United States as Mexican.”
Absolut initially defended that ad by saying that it was intended for the Mexican market.
Someone should tell Absolut about this thing called the Internet. A major brand never really isolates a message to a particular region.
The marketing problem here is that Absolut forgot that they are a GLOBAL brand. The rules are very different on the global scale. Sure, there are cultural differences that need to be accounted for when marketing internationally, but core brand values need to remain consistent. And those core brand values had best not alienate a large portion of your market.
Also, a little situational analysis would have suggested that a message focused on Mexican/American relations might have unintended negative buzz in the U.S. against the backdrop a national debate on immigration policy.
But this is just marketing, right?
Who needs a drink?